Updated: Apr 30, 2021
As part of our START the ADVENTURE for the Rest of Your Life FITNESS CHALLENGE, I interviewed Susan Niebergall, an online Personal Trainer and Strength Coach at Susan Niebergall Fitness and The Inner Circle . The Challenge and the interview were hosted by the REVEL community. Although she was active, exercised regularly and "ate healthy", Susan tells about her many years of struggling with yo-yo dieting. It was about six years ago, working with an online personal trainer, Jordan , that she made lasting changes. Besides making changes to her eating, losing weight, and changing her shape, Susan worked really hard at strength training. Wanting to do her first pull-up, she eventually came to do them with weights attached to her, like 45-pounds of weight! It was such an amazing transformation that 28-year-old Jordan eventually invited her to become his partner. Today they both run the Inner Circle out of New York City helping hundreds of clients get fit.
About her "healthy eating", Susan came to learn she was eating too much and making poor choices. She talked about how most of us are intuitive eaters, that is we take our general beliefs about nutrition and apply them to our food choices, somewhat haphazardly. That's what happened with her. Looking back she thinks it crazy what she avoided eating, what she "allowed" herself to eat, and how restrictive it was. She changed that by carefully analyzing her diet through tracking everything she ate. The education from doing that guided her to choose more of the foods she loves, worry less about restricting foods, and pay attention to the balance of intake and energy output and eating foods in moderation. Listen to the interview to learn more about how her tracked her food without an app, by simply writing down what she ate, the portions, the calories and grams of protein.
About why we should want to get strong, Susan pointed out how our parents' generation is aging, how many of us are in the position of caring for those who are unable to care for themselves. Many women I know are motivated by this, the desire to avoid burdening their own children with their care as well as wanting a better quality of life in their later years. She talks about how exercise and particularly strength is important for picking up grandchildren, getting up and down off the floor, and in general to live a functional life and especially to counteract the loss of muscle as we age. A strong proponent for people to find movement or exercise they love, Susan urges women to add some component of strength training to their programs.
There's a wealth of excellent content on Susan's social media posts where you can learn a lot about strength training and weight loss. I can also recommend reading her book, Fit at Any Age: It's Never Too Late. I think you'll be inspired as much as I was.
Also, readers who are not already familiar check out REVEL, a community that brings women 50+ together in all kinds of exciting ways.